I was watching Sky News this morning when old badger features Darling came on the tellybox to tell us all about the continuing clusterfuck that is the Eurozone.
As an aside, I think it’s very nice of the G8 to meet up in Maryland and then come us tell us what it is Greece must do. Now I think the Greeks are basket cases, but it’s their country. It says a great deal about these people that they meet up and pronounce what a sovereign state must do, even if it is at odds with the stated wishes of the population. It’s the old ‘does he take sugar’ scenario played out on a global scale.
Anyhow, back to old badger features. I didn’t really listen to what he was saying, and not just because he’s no credibility in my eyes. It was because of his surroundings. Standard Sunday morning stuff on the face of it, a scene of domestic bliss with no tie (alas the traditional Sunday morning politician’s jumper was missing). Normally the interview takes place in front of a backdrop of the interviewee’s bookshelves. It’s an interesting exercise in contextual messaging. The fact that the interviewee can be seen with his books delivers a message, their mere presence suggests to the viewer that this person is educated, well read and as a result has an opinion which should be given all due respect and attention.
It’s the same when we see a reporter outside Number 10 or the Old Bailey, it’s a bit daft really, we don’t want to know what’s going on outside these places, we want to know what’s going on inside. It adds nothing to the report at all.
So, obviously for some reason old badger features’ bookcase isn’t suitable, perhaps for some technical reason. Therefore we see him sat in front of some cabinet displaying china (would that were the cabinet he had been sat in for all those years), but no books.
But because there’s no books, a selection has been set up on the table next to him. Now take a look at the top book on the pile. (You may want to click on the image to embiggen.)
That is what drew my attention for some reason. Not the sort of title you’d associate with a politician, I thought to myself, so I paid a little visit to Amazon.
Strange Encounters is a variety of strange stories that have a sense of unknown and mystery about them. It deals with the usual UFO’s and ghosts but also dwells into more complex ’encounters’ such as time and space, events linked with the Bible and mysterious lands, the latter two being my favourite. It is these that makes the book so much more refreshing. Unlike some books where you know what you have read is not true and totally implausible, Strange Encounters is different. This is generally helped by way the book is written; after the introduction to the encounter a few stories are told that are connected to it then afterwards the book attempts to analyses all it can about the truth and origin of the stories- providing facts to back it up.
Could it be that our former Chancellor is UFO nut? Or perhaps he’s sending us a message that conspiracies about lizard men from space are correct? Or perhaps it is an attempt to explain his own bizarre appearance?
In an age of painstaking public image control, it seems odd to me that this book would just happen to be top of the pile as part of a contextual setting. . .